We haven’t been very good at E3 predictions historically. While much of what we predicted came to pass eventually, E3 is almost always less exciting than we want it to be. With that in mind we’re doing the predictions a little closer to the time now. E3 starts tomorrow at 9PM BST with EA’s conference, then continues with Bethesda in the early hours of the morning, Microsoft after work, Ubisoft Monday evening, Sony at an ungodly hour, and Nintendo never because Nintendo have decided this E3 isn’t worth bothering with. OK so they will have a Treehouse but we’re still bitter we’re not going to hear anything about the NX.
So here are our predictions for each of the big conferences. We don’t really have any insider information on any of these beyond the rumours floating around on NeoGaf and Reddit, as well as some tiny little bits of hearsay we hear from PR people, so treat all of this as speculation and let us know what you want to see this year!
Electronic Arts are kicking things off this year with a conference much earlier than we’re used to. Hopefully they’ve learned from their mistakes of past E3s, showing off games that are nowhere near ready or filling their time with bizarre interviews with Pele. This year we’re quite excited for what they have to show, purely because on one licence. They have Star Wars.
- New Star Wars title
We know there’s at least one new Star Wars title in development that is being developed by Visceral (of Dead Space fame). We loved Dead Space and even enjoyed what they did with Battlefield Hardline so we’re looking forward to what they can do with Star Wars. All we know so far is that it’s going to be a third person adventure game similar to Uncharted or the cancelled 1313. We’re speculating that it’ll be based around the bounty hunters of Star Wars – with Boba Fett, IG-88, Dengar and more all making an appearance, possibly as playable characters in their own mini campaigns. We’d love to have a game with 6 mini stories, maybe released episodically like the newest Hitman, with a multiplayer mode pitting them against each other Overwatch-style. Add a bit of Visceral’s talent for horror with a darker tone for the Star Wars universe and we could have something really special
- Battlefront 2
All we’re expecting from this is a very brief teaser trailer like we had for Battlefront in 2013, but perhaps an in-engine scene using assets from The Force Awakens, maybe just a First Order Tie going up against Poe’s orange and black X-Wing, just to let us know it’s coming.
- Criterion’s racing game
Expect this to be the racing game for the GoPro generation. Massively multiplayer with a huge open world and a ridiculous array of vehicles, this is perhaps the game we’re most excited about from EA. We saw a snippet of this the year before last and by now if it still exists they must be ready to show it. Either that or they cancelled it and are working on Burnout Paradise 2. That’d be good too.
- Battlefield 1
Obviously we already know about this, but we’re expecting to see a healthy dose of campaign. I think they might save the multiplayer for Gamescom, but we should see a decent section from a mission and see how they’ve decided to combat the impression that Battlefield campaigns are a waste of time.
- Titanfall 2
This is one of the big games they’ll be pushing this year. We expect to see plenty of multiplayer, a new Titan unveiled and perhaps a glimpse of what they’re going to do with the single player if it exists. We’d be happy with a fleshed-out horde mode. With EA not having a presence on the show floor they won’t be able to let people play this, so we’re going to bold and predict that there’ll be a beta of this live during the show, so you’ll be able to download it tomorrow night and play on 3 maps with 1 new titan. We really hope this happens.
- A load of football/Sims stuff
I’m sure there will be 2017 editions of their sports games and they’ll be the same but with some different names in. The Sims might get a new expansion or two. Unfortunately we don’t really care about this.
We’re cheating a little with this one, we pretty much know what Bethesda have to show off. Of course there could be a big surprise, but we think it’s unlikely. Treat this part of the article as spoilers
- Wolfenstein 2
This is the most exciting thing Bethesda will be showing off as far as we’re concerned. The last title and expansion were absolutely fantastic and Doom is possibly our game of the year.. Wolfenstein is likely to be more of the same, but remember that ‘same’ included castles, a moon base and a concentration camp, so who knows where it’ll be next? Perhaps change up the setting to a German invasion of Britain/America? We’d love to play one set in London and maybe give Norwich a look in too?
- Prey 2
As far as we know this is alive again but being created by a different studio. There’ll be a new look at Prey 2 which we expect to keep the open-world RPG-esque aspects alongside some solid FPS action and Native American folklore. We really don’t know what to expect from this but we enjoyed the first Prey so we’re hoping whatever we see is substantial and convinces us that it’ll actually come out.
- The Evil Within 2
Continuing Bethesda’s theme of sequels for 2016, there’s going to be an Evil Within 2. We found the first one interesting at first but it quickly dragged and relied on sub-par combat far too much despite the horror aspects working much better. We’re hoping this will be focusing more on puzzles and exploration with some strong survival horror, rather than being a third person shooter with zombies. We’re not expecting too much from this sequel but maybe Bethesda will be able to surprise us.
- Dishonoured 2
We refuse to spell this the way they do even if it means people can’t search for it. Dishonoured was a fantastic vaguely open-world FPS with sprawling levels and interesting interactions and freeform gameplay that we’ve missed in this generation so far. The writing was top-notch, the world design was fantastic and the gameplay mechanics were innovate and refreshing. We think this will be very far along now so what we’ll be seeing is essentially the finished product. IF Bethesda are going to let people play anything at home, we expect it to be this, perhaps a single-level demo from the game. That would be an impressive announcement and get people hyped for what could be a 2016 GOTY contender.
- DLC and expansions and cards
The rest of the conference will probably be taken up with that card game they showed off last year, the next expansion for Fallout and perhaps a new one for Elder Scrolls Online. We really don’t think they’re going to be coming out with anything of Elder Scrolls VI or Fallout 4’s New Vegas equivalent, you’ll have to wait until next year for this. At a long shot we might get a Quake reboot teaser.
We’re expecting quite a lot from Microsoft this year. Phil Spencer has clearly shown his passion for this kind of show so he’ll be bringing out the big guns to get people Hyped for the 2016 holiday season, just like he did last year. Some of these games might be pushed back to Gamescom, like Crackdown was last year, but we’re expecting a healthy amount of real gameplay trailers plus some nice surprises for people watching back home.
- Halo Wars 2
We think this might open the show, along with the announcement of the beta that will go live on Monday. You’ll be able to play Halo Wars 2 all the way through the week and they need to start the hype machine so people who aren’t avid fans of the last one (like us) can begin to get excited. We’re expecting a new race to be shown (probably the Prometheans, but perhaps the Flood, as well a decent explanation of how they’ve enabled cross play between PC and Xbox and made it fair. We also think that the multiplayer might be free to play, with the campaign being released as premium DLC in episodes. Might explain why they’ve kept quiet about pre-orders.
All we’ve seen of this so far is a teaser trailer and if anything is kept back for Gamescom we think it could be this. But we’re hoping to see some gameplay and a better explanation of the lore and story behind this. We’re not really expecting it to make a 2017 release, perhaps early 2018.
This will be a big deal and again is a possible contender for a downloadable demo next week. This should be on track to come out early this holiday season, and there’s be plenty more gameplay footage to show, perhaps of one of the boss fights.
- Forza Horizon 3
We’re not convinced the new Forza will definitely be a Horizon game, it might be a new branch off from the series, but there’ll definitely be Forza and we’re hoping for something set in a very different location like Scandinavia, Asia or Africa. All of these games have been fantastic and we’re not expecting anything less, but perhaps there’ll be a new way of connecting players together like on massive servers populated with real players.
- Dead Rising 4
Again this has been leaked so we’re pretty sure it’s coming, but we don’t know much more about it. From the leaked images it looks like Frank West is back, possibly in the same town as the first game, but with more of it open than just a shopping mall. Dead Rising 3 was a lot of fun, even if it was a little janky, so hopefully this’ll be a smoother experience with a much bigger focus on multiplayer. Perhaps four-player co-op with some cloud-computing magic to increase the density of the zombie hordes? That sounds like fun.
- Crackdown 3
Surely this is ready by now? It feels like we’ve been waiting ages for this game but we still don’t have a set release date or really a good idea of how the game is structured. There’s been a lot of confusion about the differences between multiplayer and the single-player campaign so hopefully that’ll be cleared up and perhaps we’ll get a look at how vehicles work this time around. We’re hoping for a September release date but we can definitely imagine this being pushed back to next year.
- Gears of War 4
There’s clearly going to be a lot of information coming out about this, particularly for the single-player, possibly in the form of a single mission playthrough. We’re hoping to see some new enemy types and weapons, and possibly some on-stage co-op. Hopefully we’ll get a release date confirmation too.
We know Microsoft is working on new hardware but it’s hard to know just how far along they are. Now we know Sony won’t be showing off the Neo at E3 perhaps the pressure’s off and all we’ll get is a reveal of the Xbox One Slim, coming this November. With how excited Spencer gets about things we can imagine there being a bit of a tease of Scorpio and how it’ll work with Oculus Rift but we don’t think we’ll get to see the console or get any concrete information on just how powerful it is. That’ll be happening this time next year.
Ubisoft’s conferences are nearly always the most entertaining, almost entirely thanks to Aisha Tyler, one of the most charismatic and passionate hosts any of them can boast. Sometimes the jokes seem weird or in bad-taste but that’s half of the fun. The biggest problem we have with Ubisoft is that they definitely have a tendency to over-promise and under-deliver, so take whatever you see at this conference with a mine’s worth of salt.
- Watch Dogs 2
There’s already been a stream and videos of this so we’re not entirely sure what more they’ve got to reveal. We’ll probably see a little more about how multiplayer works within a mission just like the first reveal of Watch Dogs. Expect there to be plenty of scripted but impressive looking scenes and some addressing of the problems of the first game.
- Ghost Recon Wildlands
We loved the reveal trailer for this but hopefully this year we’ll see some real gameplay, perhaps one of those co-op point of view demos where four people play it on stage at once and talk like no-one does in any videogame ever (except ArmA because that’s serious business). This probably won’t be ready for release until next year but I’m sure that won’t stop Ubisoft from showing us what the pre-order bonuses will be.
- For Honour
This will probably be the focus of Ubisoft’s show and with good reason. We played it last August and were blown away by how accessible and satisfying the combat is, in the context of huge sieges and three-way battles. We can’t wait to see more of this and, like the other studios, we wouldn’t be too surprised to see a beta announced for this, possibly starting as early as Tuesday. It lends itself well to an open beta and as soon as you play it we’re sure you’ll be just as hyped as we are. They might announce a new ‘team’ in the game, like Pirates. We’d quite like some pirates.
- Assassin’s Creed Movie
There won’t be anything about a new AC game this year (they’ve said they’re taking a break this year and Watchdogs is filling that release slot) but I’m sure we’ll get a new trailer or a small section from the new Fassbender film. We weren’t impressed with what we’ve seen so far but perhaps a better look at the modern day scenes (that apparently make up 60% of the film) might be able to change our mind.
- The Crew 2
This is one we haven’t heard anything about, but just feel it makes sense. Ubisoft has gone above and beyond supporting the first game and advertising it, despite the lukewarm reception from the public. Perhaps this is because they’re on the cusp of announcing a new game in the series, but this time set in central Europe. Imagine being able to drive from London (maybe catching a ferry, or driving through the tunnel dodging trains) all the way to Moscow or Istanbul? With some of the weather effects added in Wild Run and the same anarchic multiplay, we’re thinking this is a very real possibility.
- An Archer Game
Again this is wild speculation on our point, but who better to announce an Archer game than Aisha Tyler who voices Llana on the show? We’d love a FPS in the vein of No One Lives Forever, but set in the Archer universe. Cell-Shaded, with the original voice cast. This could be the Game of All Time. Perhaps have a Bob’s Burgers-themed take on Cooking Mama as an easter egg and Bojack Horseman as a DLC mount?
- The Division Expansion
Despite buying the season pass for the Division, we completely lost interest in the game months ago. Hopefully Ubisoft will be looking to breathe some new life into their struggling game with a look at the first big DLC and how it will change up the game. Perhaps they’ll also address the legions of people who have unfairly got massive advantages over other players through exploits and hacks and how they’re going to redress this. It seems like the sensible thing to do would be to dramatically nerf every item that is out there now and start again with fresh tiers for the next waves of content. Or perhaps they’ll leave the Division to die and move on. Who knows?
- Assorted Rabbids and Just Dance things
Even though this doesn’t appeal to the main audience for E3, I’m sure Ubisoft are keen to show off everything else they’ve got going which will surely be a new Just Dance with new music and something to do with the Rabbids like a movie or a new mobile game. That’s the time to go get a drink and some food.
Sony have got a difficult job this year. Last year they hardly released anything, this year they’ve already released their biggest hitter, Uncharted 4, so what do they show off next? Most of the games they have in the pipeline have already been announced so while we’ll definitely see some more of those, it’s a little difficult to predict what their first part studios will have to offer. We imagine most of their show will be taken up with their exclusive marketing deals for third-party multiplatform games. Expect to see a lot of games you’ve seen elsewhere in their show. We’re not expecting to see anything from FFVII remaster or Shenmue 3 at all this year, that’ll be for next year. We’ve been told explicitly that there will be nothing about the Neo here, they’ll save that for a separate show of it’s own later in the Summer.
- The Last Guardian
Surely we’ve got to get a release date here? We’ve never been particularly excited about this game but we can understand why so many people have. This game has been a ridiculously long time coming and it’s hard to see how it could possibly live up to the hype. Hopefully we’ll see much more of this alongside a solid release date for this holiday season. Or we won’t see anything and it’ll return to being vapourware.
- Uncharted 4 DLC
Uncharted only recently came out and Naughty Dog did well with the Last of Us DLC so it makes sense that we’ll be seeing some DLC for Uncharted. Perhaps a new chapter detailing some of Sam’s exploits we didn’t see? Who knows but it’s a fairly safe bet that we won’t see a new game from Naughty Dog, so this is all we can hope for.
- God of War 4
This was leaked a while back but we’ll be seeing a level and boss fight from God of War 4, now set in Norse Mythology with a bearded and trouser-wearing Kratos. We’re really hoping there’ll be a new twist on the gameplay somehow but we’re not really expecting it. Chances are this will be more of the same, gorgeous, finely tuned brawler action.
Sony only really have one shot at this so they need to get it right. VR is almost impossible to show at a conference but we’ll definitely get solid details on price, what you get in the box, and what games will be available at launch. We’re expecting to also hear that Playstation Plus will include one VR game alongside the PS4 and Vita games from now on. Speaking of which…
- PS Plus reinvigoration and RDR
PS Plus has been pretty terrible this year, we cancelled it a while ago and haven’t missed it at all. We think Sony have been aware of the lukewarm response all the offerings this year have got, so they’ll bring out something fairly impression. Like the Red Dead Redemption remaster and a teaser for the next Red Dead game. You heard it here first. It won’t be a full demo, but it will be in-engine.
- Gran Turismo Sport
Of course Sony will be showing this off but first impressions haven’t been good. Due to release in November we wouldn’t be surprised to see a delay to the release date so they can add some new content and make it more worth your time.
- Third Party Announcements
During Sony’s press conference we’re expecting to see trailers and DLC agreements for: Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, Titanfall 2, Destiny (the new DLC), and possibly Resident Evil 7. We think if Resident Evil is announced anywhere it’ll be at Sony’s conference alongside some kind of exclusive DLC like a horde-mode.